Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial logo

Leg 3B – Normanton to Cairns

Penny and Val Swan, 1974 Volvo 242 DL 

This was a very long leg over almost 900km, with 112km or 13% competitive, covered partly in the dark to add to the difficulty, as the restart was at 0100 Saturday.

This leg had four competitive sections, and the first section, ‘Green Hills’, was near Croydon after a 143km drive from the start of Leg 3B. Run over 54km it was a very demanding section conducted over two shire roads linked by a very rough 10km stretch through private property that would have been a car breaker if it was driven too fast. This was followed by a 100km drive to two sections only 8km apart – ‘Einasleigh 1’ and Einasleigh 2’, on smooth, flowing shire roads. ‘1’ started with some corners and crests then it straightened out to become very fast. ‘2’ was mainly very fast also, with a few smooth creek crossings. Then a 214km drive to the fourth section ‘Emuford’, another fast shire road but with several tricky crests needing cautious driving. The road was abrasive and challenging and towards the end it tightened uphill and then had a fast entry to the control.

Arrival in Cairns was quite early so there was time to enjoy the tropical atmosphere. First vehicle due at Cairns at 1330. Competitive sections of 54, 13, 20 and 26km.

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